Before surgery, joints adjacent to the diseased knee are carefully evaluated. This is important to ensure optimal outcome from the surgery. Replacing a knee joint which is adjacent to a severely damaged joint may not yield significant improvement in function. Furthermore, all medications which the patient is taking are reviewed.
Blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) and anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin may have to be adjusted or discontinued prior to surgery.
Routine blood tests of liver and kidney function and urine tests are evaluated for signs of anemia, infection, or abnormal metabolism. Chest X-ray and EKG are performed to exclude significant heart and lung disease, which may preclude surgery or anesthesia. Finally, the surgery is less likely to have a good long-term outcome if the patient's weight is greater than 200 pounds. Excess body weight puts the replaced knee at an increased risk of loosening and/or dislocation.
A similar risk is encountered in younger patients who may tend to be more active, thereby adding trauma to the replaced joint.
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